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Former Montgomery Co. inmate sues county, alleges malnutrition

FULTONVILLE -- A former Montgomery County Jail inmate filed a class action lawsuit against the county and Sheriff Michael Amato Friday over claims he was malnourished while in custody.

Perry Hill was in jail for five months and claims he lost more than 20 pounds because he wasn't provided proper meals.

"I think it's being done to save money. It's a lot cheaper to feed a detainee 1,700 calories a day than it is to feed him 2,700 calories a day. You save 33 percent on your food budget," said E. Robert Keach III, who is representing Hill.

In the suit, Hill claimed the malnourishment caused his gums to bleed, hair loss and other health problems.

Sheriff Amato referred CBS 6 to County Attorney Doug Landon, who said the county had not been served with the suit, but it would defend itself. 

Amato also provided CBS 6 with a copy of a menu, which listed portions for weekly meals. Wednesday dinner was listed as 3/4 cup of chili con carne,1 cup of rice, 1/2 cup of corn, 1 cornbread, 1 sugar cookie and a cup of fruit punch.

The state Commission of Correction requires facilities to provide three meals a day, at least one that is hot. It reviewed Montgomery County Jail in 2012 and found no violations.

"Generally the Commission of Correction lets the facility know when they're going to be there. The food trays are piled high with food. It's over the side," said Keach. "Then when the Commission of Correction is gone they go back to the meager rations that they're providing on a daily basis." 

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